CHULA VISTA The North American Championships, comprised of teams from the United States, Mexico and Canada, highlights the elite athlete competition at the Arturo Barrios 5K & 10K in Chula Vista, Calif., announced Elite Racing, Inc. The 14th annual event returns to the Chula Vista Harbor Sunday, October 27, 2002.
The North American Championships, a unique three-team international competition, pits squads of male and female runners from each of the three countries. Three male and three female runners compete for each team in an elite 5K road race, with the places of the top two finishers of each gender counted in the team scoring.
Arturo Barrios events begin with a 5K People’s Run at 7:30 a.m. followed by a 5K People’s Walk at 7:35 a.m. and a 10K People’s Run at 8:30 a.m. The 5K North American championship team race begins at 10 a.m. In addition, the event offers two kids’ events, a 1-mile race for children ages 8-12, and a 1/2-mile event for kids 7-years and under.
The winning team in the Championship race splits a $12,000 prize while the second place team earns $6,000 and the third place team $3,000. In addition, the first two men’s and women’s finishers will receive cash awards of $1,300 and $700, respectively. All People’s race participants receive commemorative medals and race T-shirts.
The Arturo Barrios 5K & 10K draws close to 4,000 participants to Chula Vista and provides numerous viewing opportunities for spectators along scenic Marina Parkway. The event benefits the South Chula Vista Library and local-area scholarship programs, with a strong focus on the Hispanic community. The primary goal of the race is to reduce the high school dropout rate in San Diego.
The event’s namesake, Arturo Barrios, was Mexico’s first world record holder in a track event (10,000-meters). A role model for young people throughout Southern California, Barrios will preside over the event and participate in the People’s 10K Race.
The Arturo Barrios 5K & 10K will feature live music along the course. In addition, local high school cheerleading squads will compete in the “South Bay Spirit Competition.”
“Participants love the addition of bands and cheerleaders to the course,” said Kari Logan, Co-Event Manager. “It’s a successful formula we’ve taken from the Suzuki Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, providing entertainment and energy for runners and spectators while enhancing the event’s festive atmosphere.”
The Arturo Barrios 5K & 10K will again feature the Fiesta Kids Corner, a secured interactive fun-zone where kids can play safely while parents compete. The Kids Corner is for children ages 4-12 and features a Jolly Jumper, face painting, coloring and other surprises.
A “Health & Fitness Expo” takes place on race day from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Expo features the latest in fitness products, running shoes and sports apparel and offers a wide-variety of products for sample and sale. The Expo also serves as the sight for a complimentary pancake breakfast for all race participants and spectators.
A pre-registration party is scheduled for Sat., October 26 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sports Authority mega-store in Chula Vista. Refreshments will be provided as runners check in for the event. Arturo Barrios will sign autographs while Radio Latina provides musical entertainment and prize drawings for those in attendance. Race day registration is available at 6:30 a.m.